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Who are the best writers in comics right now?


#1

Simple question. I’m wondering who folks think are the best, brightest and more relevant writers in the industry at the moment. I’d suggest leaving Mr Millar out of it for modesty’s sake, but for everyone else who are the most creative minds?

I’ll start with Jason Aaron. I think he’s the most consistent writer in comics, and have the most capable creative mind (meaning others might have wilder ideas, but they can’t round off the edges in the same way Aaron can). I also think he’s the best storyteller right now when paired with the right subject matter.


#2

Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka


#3

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye’s James Roberts, easily.
He’s taken a series based on an old toyline that had been reduced down into a hollow nostalgia fest and then a tepid homage to some brainless movies and refashioned it into a culturally literate, smart, inventive, funny and heartfelt series with thoroughly endearing characters, gripping sub-plots and mysteries and just damned good jokes.
Before Roberts took the reigns, Megatron was almost literally a cartoon villain. Now he’s an exploration of the ultimate futility of turning cultural revolution into physical uprising, an allegory for the failings of various Marxist revolutionaries. And yet he quite happily works on the same page as Rodimus, a charismatic idiot that refers to science he doesn’t understand as “magic”.
I really love the way Roberts has refashioned the Autobot vs Decepticon war away from simple good vs evil or even democracy vs tyranny, to a much more complex divide between reformists and revolutionaries. One of the cleverest things he’s done is have Megatron and Optimus Prime share a common past, as being people unhappy with the system and wanting to change it, but fundamentally disagreeing on how to do it. He even managed to have Optimus Prime convincingly quote Tony Benn.
All that and he still manages to work in the toy synergy for Hasbro.


#4

After reading Providence #1, I have to say Alan Moore is still head and shoulders above everyone else. He just seems to be able to write any damn thing.

I’d also have to put Millar up near the top in consistency and output. My only gripe is that in general, much of his work is somewhat narrowly focused, but you could say the same about Lee-Kirby, Claremont’s X-Men and Wolfman’s Teen Titans which, I think, are the equivalent of where Millar fits these days with more of an edge. I feel Robert Kirkman is much the same as well.

Brubaker can put out a lot of good work and like most of today’s writers - Bendis, Azzarello, Snyder, Aaron, etc. - I think they tend to write in a very narrow style no matter what the genre or genre mash-ups they’re putting out.

Writers I think are much more novelistic and versatile though are Greg Rucka, Brian Vaughn and Brian Wood.


#5

Brubaker is consistently good - I would buy anything he does sight unseen.

The same goes for Grant Morrison and Alan Moore, but they’re more obvious/perennial choices I guess.

Snyder is always solid. I don’t think he’s the greatest writer in the world but he’s pretty consistently good across a wide range of stories.


#6

Jason Aaron

Garth Ennis

Scott Snyder

Rick Remender

Jonathan Hickman

Grant Morrison (Multiversity, Nameless, Annihilator all back to his best)

Alan Moore (Crossed Plus 100, Providence back to his best)


#7

Roberts was the other guy I was thinking of. I wonder though if he can write anything else. He’s been a massive Transformers fanboy forever, but if he was given the Avengers would he have the same magic touch?

Nick Spencer is another guy who deserves a mention.


#8

I think it depends which Nick Spencer we’re talking about? He’s pretty inconsistent. I will love The Infinite Vacation forever yet Bedlam was crap, a tv show as a comic. The same thing with his Thief of Thieves arc, putting me off the series even though I know that Andy Diggle must have done something cool with it.
By the way, where are those three Image books that Spencer announced two Image Expos ago?


#9

I think Aaron needs to be removed from that list. His Wolverine and the X-Men was a wacky comedy book, his Thor is this big epic thing across 3 timelines while Scalped and Southern Bastards are gritty explorations of modern day America.

Apart from Moore and Vaughan I think he probably has more variety in his work that any other writer out there now.


#10

I’d agree with Aaron, for one. I will kick the tires around pretty much any book he writes. He is probably my #1.

Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker are also good choices, in that I feel like I’m in good hands whenever I pick up one of their books. I’d put Azzarello in that group, too.

Mark Waid and Gail Simone are two others I like a lot and will often check out, but I admit they are not always consistent. Giffen is always up there in this group too.


#11

I agree on Brubaker, Rucka, and Hickman. I don’t think I’ve read a bad book from any of them.

Add to the list Ales Kot, who did an amazing job on ZERO and the current SURFACE.


#12

I like Ales Kot and think he has a bright future but he needs to reign in and refine some of his more psychedelic tendencies. At times, he seems like he is trying to outdo Grant Morrison on the hallucinogens.


#13

Well, Moore, Gaiman and Morrison are still the big boys on the playing field. But I’m not sure that they count as relevant as they are all doing special events.

Jason Aaron, for sure. He is able to take characters that I thought were worn out and give them new life. Plus he made me by into a female Thor… yes, you were right, it is a great story.

Warren Ellis seems to keep dropping into books and filling them with new life. I’m still buying Moon Knight long after he left because he left a nice pile of ideas for the next writer. I’ll take the potentially controversial stance of including Bendis on this list - I still like him and he keeps things hopping.

Scott Snyder must be good - he is writing the only DC book that survived my purge awhile back. I started with 20 new books with the 52 launch and now I’m down to Batman. Plus he seems to have some interesting things on the side that I need to pick up.

And Mark Waid when he is writing just one book. His initial run on Daredevil was amazing but then he started taking on more books and it just feels to me that his energy is gone.


#14

Right now, I think the best would be:

David Lapham - Stray Bullets had been in my Top 10 Comics Ever list for a while and its return is like there had never been any decade-long hiatus. It’s seriously amazing.

Jason Aaron - For the reasons everyone’s already got.

Jonathan Hickman - Currently putting out one of my favorite comics, East of West. I haven’t liked the other stuff I’ve read by him, but those were all from when he was just starting out. That East of West is so good earns him this spot.

Greg Rucka - The master of world-building and political intrigue/commentary. Lazarus is, at this point, close to being better than Queen & Country, if not already there.

Kelly Sue DeConnick - Pretty Deadly is some impressive, heady stuff. Creating its own mythology.

Emily Carroll - It’s hard to make horror comics. She does it very well. The longest, final story in her recent Through the Woods collection will make it hard to feel safe in your own skin once you put the book down.

Jesse Moynihan - World-building, mysticism, imagination, humor, gods who talk like bros. All that and more in Forming. He’s also a major creative force in Adventure Time.

Jeff Lemire - Trillium and The Underwater Welder are some of the best self-contained graphic novels I’ve read in some time. He’s a big fan of David Lynch and so am I, so when he’s in that mode, I’m there.

Warren Ellis - Trees. Goddamn, that book’s good. I thought he’d be running on empty by now, but nope. It’s as good as any of Ellis’s greats, if not better.

There a few others I’d like to put here–Inio Asano, Ron Wimberly, Chris Wright–but their most recent work is a few years old by now (in the case of Asano, it just hasn’t been translated). But I urge checking them out, particularly Asano’s Nijigahara Holograph, Wimberly’s Prince of Cats, and Wright’s Blacklung.


#15

Kieron Gillen. #WicDiv is great, PG3 is incoming.

He’s also a bad man.


#16

Lots of good writers are mentioned here, but I am surprised so many people exclude BKV from their list.


#17

He’s the best. Probably the pinnacle of western action/adventure comics. He brings the humour, cliffhangers, pacing and characters that I’d associate with being “best in class”.
That being said people seem to have soured on Saga lately? I wonder how much is diminishing quality VS. popularity (with fans no longer loving it because everybody else loves it now).
Either way I can’t wait for his book with Cliff Chiang.


#18

It might be simply because he doesn’t have a huge amount of books out. Saga is on a regular schedule (albeit with gaps between arcs) and The Private Eye was an occasional thing that has now finished. With stuff like We Stand On Guard and Paper Girls coming out this year, it may be that he becomes more prominent in people’s minds.

I have enjoyed his work, but not universally (Ex Machina is still probably his standout book for me, and I am still enjoying Saga).


#19

Not me, I love it as much as ever and it’s right to the top of the read pile when a new one comes out.

I sort of get why some feel that way because they feel it may be rambling a bit but I don’t know, it’s in the title that’s the kind of book it is. :smile:


#20

Saga, WicDev and Trees are the best comics out right now.

So, there’s my answer.